10 worst boating habits. Ever.

Starting any new sport or activity takes courage, and this is especially the case when it comes to boating. If you’re an experienced boater, there are probably plenty of skills you easily perform on the water, which you now take for granted.


But, think back to when you were just starting out.


Did you make any face palm worthy mistakes? Were there any near misses that taught you a lesson hard and fast? You’d be hard pressed to find a boat lover who hasn’t learned what not to do through (sometimes embarrassing) trial and error.


If you’re new to boating, we’re hoping this blog will stop you from making some of the easier mistakes many of us went through when starting out. So, without further ado, here are our top 10 boating mistakes to avoid at all costs.


  1. Doing the splits

This is when a person plants one foot on the dock and one foot on the boat, and the boat then moves away causing their legs to split. They could also fall into the water, which is of course, much worse. So, when you’re getting on or off a boat. One. Foot. At. A. Time.


  1. Forgetting the drain plug

It’s easy enough to forget to put the drain plug back in before launch. Sometimes, it means your feet get a little wet. Sometimes, your boat starts to sink. There are plenty of horror stories from even seasoned boaties who have made this mistake.


  1. Launching tied up

This one may sound pretty dumb, but this list is for face palm mistakes only. Forgetting to untie your boat before launch will make for a short ride. On the plus side, once you’ve done it once, you probably won’t make the same mistake again.


  1. Not securing the anchor

Ever heaved an anchor overboard to see the rope or chain disappear into the water too? We hope not. Knowing how to safely set and retrieve an anchor is boat wisdom 101. If you need some guidance, here’s a step-by-step guide by Boating Safety Mag.


  1. Not running the blower

Forgetting to run the blower before starting your engine may cause a spark, which could result in a fire or explosion. Always run the bilge blower first to help dissipate any fumes, which may have built up in the engine section. Here’s a short video on why.


  1. Right red return

Remembering which side of a buoy to travel on is very important on the water. If you’re heading downstream to the sea, red (port) should be on your right hand side (star board) and green should be on your port-hand side (left). Read more on this here.


  1. Overloading the boat

Overloading a boat comes with a sliding scale of consequences. At best, the performance of your vessel declines. At worst, the boat may capsize and passengers could lose their life. So, check to see what weight your boat is licensed to carry, and stay within the recommended limit.


  1. Not securing the boat properly

If your boat isn’t secured correctly to your trailer, then it may just fall onto the ramp when you start heading up. Google ‘Boat Ramp Fails’, and you’ll see way too much footage of towing gone wrong. Here’s a good video with tips on how to do it right (thanks to Salt Strong).


  1. Putting fuel in the wrong spot

Unfortunately, some boat fills look a lot like fuel tanks, which means many boaties have, at some point, accidentally filled their fresh-water tank with petrol. The result is a foul smelling mess, which is costly and hard to clean. So, before you pump, double check it is what you think it is.


  1. Docking too fast

One of the easiest ways to fail docking is heading in too fast. And by fail, we main crashing into the dock. Don’t be afraid to take your time – check the wind and the current, adjust your approach, and pull in as slowly as you need to.


Mistakes happen. Be covered just in case.

If you need comprehensive cover for your boat, we can help. Since 1994, we’ve supported anglers, boat lovers, yacht clubs, rowing clubs and marine business owners with quality marine insurance that covers you for the stuff that really matters.


Contact us for an obligation free quote, and stay safe out there!